'Survivor: Blood vs. Water' recap: 'My Brother's Keeper'

For The Baltimore Sun

Vytas is calm, cool, and collected upon returning from the last Tribal Council, where Aras was voted out. Tina, not so much.  She berates Tyson for having "flipped" and says that he just lost five jury votes (way to speak for everyone, Tina). And shame on Tyson for not being content with being seventh in a seven-person alliance (that was sarcasm, in case you were wondering.)

Laura and Ciera take the wind out of Tina’s self-righteous sails by pointing out that everyone was in an alliance with Aras. Tina is completely out of her depth in this season. In her original season, she had a rock solid (and secret) alliance with Colby that took her through the whole game. Season two was a simpler time, and she’s struggling this season.

Speaking of a simpler time, they’re bringing back a classic challenge for Immunity this week, although it’s not the first time they’ve brought it back. It’s time to eat some gross food.

Mealworms are first. Vytas, Tyson and Monica make it through to the next rounds. The second group is having a lot more problems. Hayden is the first to make it through, followed by Gervase and Caleb, who makes it by virtue of not giving up.

Everyone who made it through is in the next round, which is chunks of pig intestine. There’s a whole lot of gagging going on. Monica, the only woman left, is the first one through, followed by Geravse (who sucked at this challenge 13 years ago.)

The final round is giant squirmy grubs, which is what Gervase couldn’t get down in season one.  I don’t think I would like the wiggling, but I would rather do that than a giant cricket or something else with legs and a face. Gervase does better than he did in Season 1, but Monica does even better and finishes first, winning immunity.

Laura M. is still on her splitting-votes tangent, which Tyson knows in unnecessary, because he’s the one with the Idol. But he’s been burned before, so he’s keeping that knowledge to himself this time around. It looks like the split will be between Katie and Vytas, with Vytas going home.

Hayden talks to Vytas about the vote, and Vytas is totally willing to vote for Katie if it will keep him safe. Monica makes it all about her again by saying that there is a lot of scrambling going on, so she must have been next (before she won immunity).

Vytas is scrambling and pleading his case for Tyson, and it may have worked. They need to watch this, or Vytas is going to manage to talk his way into the final two. Although I’d be perfectly alright with that, so carry on, Vytas.

Tribal Council time? At 23 minutes in? Must be a double elimination episode. Vytas admits that he’s pissed that Aras went home, and is apparently blaming Monica for it. He calls her paranoid and benevolent (not in a nice way, but in a ‘I’m better than you’ way). Huh. Wonder if he’s figured out that he’s done for, and has nothing left to lose?

And he totally doesn’t, because Vytas is voted out, and goes to join Aras on Redemption Island.

By the way, can I mention how much I like that Caleb is flying completely under the radar? Go Caleb!

Back from Tribal Council, Monica admits that she was supposed to vote for Katie, and instead voted for Vytas. She admits that in front of the whole tribe, which puts a big ‘ol "untrustworthy" target on her back. Gervase doesn’t know if he can trust her not to do it again, which could end up screwing himself or Tyson over and getting them voted out.

Vytas arrives on Redemption Island and informs Aras that he’s still in the game. Aras says he will be just as glad if Vytas gets back in the game rather than him. Vytas can’t say the same about Aras.

Time for another Immunity Challenge! Are there going to be any rewards this episode? This challenge involves stacking coins on top of a sword handle. The sword’s point is loosely planted in the ground, but they have to hold onto it with one hand to keep it upright, so it’s all about steady hands, both placing and holding. Monica and Ciera are out quickly, followed by Tina, Gervase, and Laura.

Caleb is the next one out, leaving Katie, Hayden and Tyson. I’m amazed Katie hasn’t dropped her coins with Tina’s constant ‘motivating’ prattle in the background. But I guess she’s had to listen to a lifetime of it, because she manages to outlast both Tyson and Hayden to win Immunity. 

Tina looks overjoyed that Katie won Immunity. I wonder if she’s realized that this makes her the one most likely to go home (well, to Redemption Island first, anyway.) Hayden wonders if Tina has the hidden Immunity Idol, and Tyson correctly points out that if she has it, she won’t go looking for it. Cue Tina looking for the Idol.

She even looks in the right place but, as we know, Tyson had already found it. He still doesn’t want to tell anyone about it, so everyone makes a big production of following Tina around while she looks for it.

Monica is getting paranoid because they don’t know who to split the votes with in case Tina finds the Idol. I know the crazy voice in the back of her mind is saying that if they aren’t telling her what the split is, then she’s the other one they are voting for. And she might not be wrong. But are they voting for Monica because she’s paranoid, or is she paranoid because they’re voting for her?

Tribal Council time! Tina tries to make it sound like she totally had time alone to find the Immunity Idol, but she’s a terrible liar. She also tells Monica that she’s on the bottom of the alliance. And she is, but Monica tries to argue that she isn’t. She does a pretty good job, too.

Tina puts down Monica some more, and you know what? I’d like both Tina and Monica to go home, because they’re annoying, and by the looks on the faces of the people having to listen to them, they agree with me.

It’s voting time, and the vote goes to Tina, although there’s a vote thrown both Monica and Tyson’s way. Tina is headed to Redemption Island, and I feel sorry for Aras and Vytas.

Next week: It looks like Ciera is going to try to get rid of her mother to further her own game.

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